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Nature as Measure: The Selected Essays of Wes Jacksonby Wes Jackson
Synopses & Reviews
"Jackson, a well-known and admired advocate for sustainability especially as it relates to agriculture, has the rare ability to transform his convictions into captivating prose. His sentences are simple and yet express profound thoughts: 'Soil is a living organism which is larger than the life it supports...But it is itself now dying.' Very little is out of bounds in his essays, including reworking the tenets of Judo-Christian religion in 'The Religious Dimension.' Explaining how the U.S. is poised for significant change, he ruminates, it isn't the first time the country has experienced a major consciousness shift because 'after all, change is the rule.' Jackson fervently supports the American farmer and in 'Falsehoods of Farming' attempts to defend the occupation itself. His examination of the World Trade Center-Pentagon attack in the context of our 'consumptive culture' is sobering. If there is any criticism to make, it's that few of these essays are new, but have been repurposed from books originally published in 1987 and 1994. Jackson's thoughts are still as significant and profound as they were nearly 20 years ago, making it just as easy to relish his inspiring words in 2011. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book News Annotation:
This collection of essays by the important agricultural reformer Wes Jackson provides readers with a sampling of the core principles that guide his work in sustainable farming research, soils science, and perennial seed crops. Written in accessible narrative style, the selections are not technical works but meditations and stories on the state of nature in the agricultural age and the process of paradigmatic shift in definition of agriculture that will be necessary to stave off widespread environmental disaster. The volume includes an introduction by Wendell Berry. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Wes Jackson can teach us many things about the land, soil, and conservation, but what most resonates is this: The ecosphere is self-regulating, and as often as we attempt to understand it, we are not its builders, and our manuals will often be faulty. The only responsible way to learn the nuances of the land is to study the soil and vegetation in their natural state and pass this knowledge on to future generations.
In Nature as Measure, a collection of Jacksons essays from Altars of Unhewn Stone and Becoming Native to This Place, these ideas of land conservation and education are written from the point of view of a man who has practiced what hes preached and proven that it is possible to partially restore much of the land that weve ravaged. Wes Jackson lays the foundation for a new farming economy, grounded in natures principles and located in dying small towns and rural communities. Exploding the tenets of industrial agriculture, Jackson seeks to integrate food production with nature in a way that sustains both.
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